Biometrics

fingerprintSo, yesterday we went to the local USCIS office in Portland to have our fingerprints done.  It was interesting…There was about 20 people there at our appointment time.  First you fill at a form and then sit and wait.  Next you get in line, have someone else look at your paperwork and then sit and wait again.  Finally after waiting for your number to be called you actually get your fingerprints done.  Sound familiar?

While sitting there it was interesting to look at all the people and wonder what their stories were.  The service was on par with your local DMV office…Yep, the charm of government offices.  One person was actually told they would have to leave if their baby started crying.  Oh well, we are one step closer.  Once we have our immigration approval we will just need to get our authentication from the secretary of state and we can drop off the dossier to Radu.  I’m thinking we will see our girl this winter.

~Alisha

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Rainy Day

It has been one of those days today.  You know the kind, the days where you just want to crawl back into bed and forget about the world.  So NOT an option for a mom though.  The unfortunate part about Oregon weather is the greyness of winter and most of spring.  We had a couple of beautiful sunny days and it got my hopes up.  I know better, really I do, I have lived in Oregon for most of my life.  The unfortunate truth is that we will not see the sun in the Willamette Valley on a daily basis until late June.  This is the trade off for having mild winters and little humidity.  I know spring is on its way because I have daffodils blooming and all the trees are budding out.  I just feel rather impatient for it to actually get here.  This is when I find myself annoyed that Jeff teaches and can only get off during specific times of the year.  Florida is sounding really good right now.

The house is quiet now except for the intermittent sound of raindrops on the roof.  Caden is taking a nap and I am having some sorely needed Mommy time.  I don’t think I would make it as a full time stay at home mom.  You know those funny pictures with the kid duct-taped to the wall?  I just might be tempted.  I don’t know how my baby sitter does it.

My darling son has been a first class little turd today.  I did not sleep well last night and that really hasn’t helped my patience but…Eehhhh!  The little guy managed to get a hold of my concealer stick (while I was getting dressed) and then took it and smeared it with a plastic knife under the dining room table.  Looks really good on the carpet.  It never fails to amaze me how much the little nippers can accomplish in 3-5 minutes.  I know kids will be kids but that was just the tip of the iceburg today.

He is currently obsessed with guns, swords, any kind of weapon.  Why do boys do this?  My stepdaughters never had a thing for violence.  I finally gave in and got him a toy gun and sword because he made everything into one (and I got really tired of trying to find my hairbrush.)  Our rule has been that he can’t point the gun at people–hard to make that one stick.  I have confiscated all weapons today because I am tired of having them in my face (literally).  He is really a rough little guy and I sometimes worry when he plays with other kids.  I have to wonder what I have or haven’t done to contribute to this.

So, what’s a girl to do…A little spring fever, a stinker of a little boy and I’ve got the blues.  Tomorrow morning we go in for our final fingerprinting in Portland.  Excuse me, I meant biometrics (big word, big price tag.)  It is going to make for a really long day though because I work until 10:30 pm tomorrow night.  Hopefully, a couple weeks after that we should have our USCIS approval and can turn in our dossier.  It is getting closer.

~Alisha

Ethiopian Orphan Relief

EOR Lights of Hope Benefit Auction

EOR Lights of Hope Benefit Auction

For every child  who is adopted in Ethiopia there are thousands left behind in the orphanages that are still parentless.  Ethiopian Orphan Relief, EOR, is an organization committed to helping the orphans who are left behind in Ethiopia.  This organization was founded by Moms who were adopting from Ethiopia who wanted to do something more.  The more has turned into funding playgrounds and building foundations for new orphanages.

They work on various fundraisers throughout the year.  The latest is Lights of Hope a benefit auction and evening of fun in Portland, Oregon on May 5, 2009.  We are donating a couple of items for the auction since we do fused glass.  Unfortunately, I am working that weekend and cannot attend the auction.  How about you?  Could you donate an item for the auction or make a cash donation?  If you can please contact Kim Pasion at kim@ethiopianorphanrelief.  If you have a chance check out their website.  They even have an online store full of cool things…guilt free buying.

~Alisha

Deciding On An Adoption Agency

Note:  This is a post that I placed on the Adoption Avenues Yahoo Group.  I am placing it on my blog as well because I feel that it is important.

scales-of-justice

International adoption is not for the faint of heart.  Choosing an agency that you feel is ethical and fulfills your own requirements is a daunting task.  My advice to you is remember that we live in a society where sensationalism is the norm and not the exception.

In my limited time on the big Ethiopian adoption board I have seen many agencies accused of many different things.  I believe all of us want ethical adoptions where everything is clear cut and defined but that is not reality.  Ethiopia is a developing country where much of the populace is uneducated (unable to read or write) and I believe that some of the “confusion” stems from this.  Also, think about the 80 or so different languages that are spoken in Ethiopia–could this cause difficulty?  Finally, consider that some of the children pass through multiple orphanages before being adopted–yet another opportunity for things to become confused.

I believe that most adoption agency directors try to steer through these obstacles the best that they can.  They end up being responsible for the actions of people who are a continent away from them.  Is this a daunting task?  To me it is.  I believe that the majority of the people who are in the adoption “business” are there because they have a desire to help.  Do I think that child trafficking exists–of course.  However, I believe that it is usually the exception to the rule (and no I am not a cheery optimist by nature.)

I was not aware of any rule regarding saying only positive things when I joined this group and it has never influenced my posts.  In my experiences Radu is a quick but brief communicator.  He often replies to my email within an hour.  His paperwork process could be a little more organized and give more instructions–but if you have questions he responds.  These are my experiences so far.  I read other Adoption Avenues blogs before committing and some of them felt that there was a breakdown in communication when you reached Ethiopia.  If you are interested in reading these look through the blogs listed under links.  In my opinion these are forgivable flaws.

If you have not read There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene I would highly recommend it.  Part of the book talks about how the actions of the orphanage director became misconstrued and the topic of many an adoption board.  We only hear part of the story and make a judgment about the piece we hear about.  The majority of us on this board are here because we believe that Adoption Avenues is the right agency for us.  Is it the right fit for you?  Do your research and check your facts but in the end it is a leap of faith.

~Alisha
Waiting for Immigration Approval